2011 Cost of Cyber Crime Study

Despite widespread awareness of the impact of cyber crime, new research indicates that cyber attacks continue to occur frequently and result in serious financial consequences for businesses and government institutions. The study found that recovery and detection are the most costly internal activities, highlighting a significant cost-reduction opportunity for organizations that are able to automate detection and recovery through enabling security technologies.

This year’s 2011 Cost of Cyber Crime Study from Ponemon Institute is based on a representative sample of 50 organizations in various industry sectors. While the research focused on organizations located in the United States, many are multinational corporations. Key takeaways from this report include:

  • Cyber crimes can do serious harm to an organization’s bottom line. We found that the median annualized cost of cyber crime for 50 organizations in our study is $5.9 million per year, with a range of $1.5 million to $36.5 million each year per company. This represents an increase in median cost of 56 percent from our first cyber cost study published last year.
  • Cyber attacks have become common occurrences. The companies in this study experienced 72 successful attacks per week and more than one successful attack per company per week. This represents an increase of 44 percent from last year’s successful attack experience.
  • The most costly cyber crimes are those caused by malicious code, denial of service, stolen devices and web-based attacks. Mitigation of such attacks requires enabling technologies such as SIEM and enterprise governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) solutions.

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